January 7, 2013

On The Agenda: New Mission Theater And New Condos Approvals

2558 Mission Street Rendering

On the agenda for San Francisco’s Planning Commission this week, the approval of The Next Big Housing Thing To Define The New Mission, the redevelopment of the New Mission Theater and construction of 114 market-rate condos and 89 parking spaces at 2558 Mission Street where the Giant Value department store currently stands.

New Mission Theater and Giant Value Site

The Planning Department recommends approval. And as we first reported last year, once approved, the construction of the 2558 Mission Street building would take approximately 18 to 20 months, 10 to 12 months for the renovation of the New Mission Theater.

The Next Big Housing Thing To Define The New Mission [SocketSite]
New Mission Theater Plans Moving Forward, Targeting 2013 Opening [SocketSite]
Giant Value Housing Or Headache To Come In The Mission? [SocketSite]

First Published: January 7, 2013 11:15 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

What's next, assuming it passes this week? Any further reviews or are they ready to start construction?

Posted by: OMN at January 7, 2013 1:57 PM

It's nice to see some housing hit this busy street, but expect a lot of noise for the units facing Mission. The location isn't bad as it's about a half mile walk to either BART station.

Posted by: Mark at January 7, 2013 2:07 PM

.78 parking spaces per unit. Sigh.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at January 7, 2013 2:12 PM

^I know - kind of high for such a congested and transit-friendly location. 0.25:1 seems much more reasonable, but as with all things, I'm willing to let one nasty element of the plan slide through with all of the good elements.

Posted by: anon at January 7, 2013 2:23 PM

I don't even bother looking at the parking to unit ratios any more. For a city that prides itself on being Transit First, the reality of the situation is that SF is a Transit Last city. 89 parking spaces means 89 more cars on SF streets, regardless of the fact that BART is walking distance and there are multiple bus lines in the area. Then again, when you deem the units market rate you're attracting a more affluent buyer who most likely needs his or her car.

Posted by: Mark at January 7, 2013 3:21 PM

Ah....Mark. you hit the nail on the head. Buyers of market rate units most likely, but not always, will own a car.

And that car will be used as often as necessary when Bart doesn't go where they need to go, or because late at night Bart can be unsafe, as well as Muni.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 4:33 PM

That's because Transit First is a socialist illusion. Rational people choose the best mode of transportation for each journey, not one for their entire life. What good is it to be in walking distance from BART if you work in Cupertino? Or if you need to get to the Inner Richmond? I live in Potrero Hill, centrally on the North Slope. I can walk to 3 bus lines, Caltrain and the T-Ghetto. I take Muni to get downtown, not for anything else. My drive to work (Palo Alto) is usually around 50 minutes. Shortest mass transit option: 1 hr 50 mins! Going to the Marina for dinner? 50 minutes on the filthy overcrowded 22 bus or drive in 15 minutes? Hmm, not a difficult choice. Besides, ever been on a bus to/from Potrero Hill, especially at night? Let's just say the line doesn't end at 18th St. and leave it at that.

People who think they can force people onto mass transit by making the alternatives untenable (i.e. artificially add time and congestion to driving by restricting parking availability) are not only wrong, they are also disrespectful to the residents of the city. Give people a decent mass transit option and they will use it. Until then, people who pay thousands of dollars a year in property taxes have a legitimate right to a parking space.

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at January 7, 2013 4:48 PM

Holy Monkeys! If I said what you just did, some of the socialists here on SS would probably skin me alive.

But actually, I have said pretty much the same thing; try riding the dirty, jerky 22 across town from Noe to Upper Fillmore some night for dinner. Try putting up with the foul mouthed teenage boys and girls on that line. Disgusting.

I too use Muni, mainly the J to hop downtown. It's mostly reliable and clean and safe. Otherwise, I use my car to get around pretty much anywhere with no hassle.

The socialists don't get that. The bike-centric my way only people don't get it either.

Thank you for your articulate thoughts.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 4:54 PM

As I felt when this design was first revealed: finally here is a decent facade design on an SF housing project!

While not amazing, at least it has some verve and visual interest, and is head and shoulders above the overly banal box at 75 Howard that was posted just before this (which I was compelled to go railing on about last night...).

Posted by: citicritter at January 7, 2013 4:56 PM

@formidable & futurist... private autos are far more subsidized by transit, so if you ideal is to end socialism you should be anti cars and parking.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 7, 2013 5:00 PM

Oh please lyqwyd. spare us that rant.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 5:03 PM

I agree with both futurist and FDOTN. In a perfect world the Bay Area would have a massive public transit system that was both effective and efficient. We don't and sadly we never will. The only option left for people is to drive, for both work and for personal use. I live out in Parkside/Sunset and as much as I dread taking the L-Terrible, I loathe the 28 line even more. Trains inch along at a snail's pace stopping every two blocks until they reach the Market St. Subway where they usually crawl through the tunnel because of some delay. The 28 line, if it runs on schedule, is always packed. Over the past decade I've ridden every bus and train in SF and finally have given up on our transit system. I drive. I add to the area's traffic congestion. Does it bother me? Yes. But, as I mentioned above, it's about having options. Transit is not a feasible option.

Posted by: Mark at January 7, 2013 5:04 PM

correction: should be "far more subsidized than transit"

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 7, 2013 5:15 PM

I think these are ugly.

As with a lot of market rate housing, aesthetics are pushed too hard to make the best of less than quality materials. The rendering might not be doing them justice, and they might look a little better after they're built, but there is no doubt in my mind that this development will look cheap and out of place in 10 years time.

Posted by: Rob at January 7, 2013 5:27 PM

I disagree that "the only option left for people is to drive". Nobody has mentioned taxis, which our city also somewhat lacks, but they require very little infrastructure improvement and also don't require parking at your home or destination. And you don't need to mingle with the poor, dirty socialists on the bus.

Posted by: James at January 7, 2013 5:29 PM

@futurist

I merely responded to formidable's unsubstantiated rant above with a fact that contradicts it: Private autos are more subsidized than transit.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 7, 2013 5:48 PM

Looking forward to seeing this project completed. Lets hope for a quick approval. It will make a world of improvement on this block. And I agree with citicritter that this will add "verve and visual interest". I'll take unusual and interesting over plain and banal any day even if some people react to "unusual" as ugly. Some of the greatest artistic movements were poo pooed when they debuted.

FDOTN sez "Rational people choose the best mode of transportation for each journey, not one for their entire life.".

Hmmm.... Another way of phrasing this is that rational people are inclined to take advantage of anything that is free or subsidized. The auto infrastructure is the must heavily subsidized transpo system in the country by far. And when you've invested in a car and a home that includes parking those sunk costs add to that incentive to drive. No wonder people are inclined to drive. But it is far from being the naturally best alternative.

I think that these units will have parking unbundled. That's great. Those who want parking will have a chance to buy a space, those who don't can save a bundle. If you believe in liberty then you should support unbundled parking.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 7, 2013 5:54 PM

@Mark: 89 parking spaces does not equal 89 cars on the street. These kind of histrionics serve no value in an article about rebuilding a building that has sat dilapidated for years (which should by all means be welcome news).

I own a house and a garage in the Mission and drive my car once or twice a week; the rest of the time I bike, or if I'm heading downtown, I take BART. Many people use cars only when there isn't a reasonable alternative (and MUNI presents very few reasonable alternatives). People seem to forget that congestion and parking problems on the other end of the journey dissuade people from driving.

Posted by: Brad at January 7, 2013 5:56 PM

^^^ Um, make that "most heavily subsidized". Dang near homonyms :-).

And funny, I did not read Rob's comment calling this facade ugly as I wrote mine. Just goes to show that different strokes for different folks I guess. I don't disagree with Rob however that in some time in the near future the facade will look dated because every new style goes through that dated phase. It must be human nature and one that keeps the fashion business lively. What really matters is how people feel about it in 30-60 years time.

(PS - I think that Gehry's acclaimed crumpled foil designs are about to enter their "dated" phase)

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 7, 2013 6:01 PM

Refresh my memory MOD how exactly my car is the "most" heavily subsidized mode of transit in our country.

And please be very specific. And what the hell is a "sunk cost"?

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 6:11 PM

@Brad: Happy to hear you live in the Mission with lots of transportation options. Also, as for your comment that "MUNI presents very few reasonable alternatives"...I couldn't agree more.

As for "histrionics" I was freely expressing my opinion about this new development and the parking amenities proposed. Just because it's replacing a derelict building doesn't necessarily mean it's a good design. In my opinion, not yours, it serves value.

Posted by: Mark at January 7, 2013 6:17 PM

Private cars are bought and paid for by individuals who own them, and maintain at their private personal expense. Public transit is mostly funded by the taxpayer whether you use it or not. Fares don't cover the expense, not even the inflated salaries. Hell, the car owners have to pay for parking on sunday as well to help subsidize MUNI. And not that long ago, 50 cents could get you an hour.


Also, roads and streets are the veins of any city and are part of the necessary infrastructure, so that is shared equally among all of us. And those that use a car have to pay other taxes and fees directly to help maintain the infrastructure, which again is the responsibility of all. You can't put that one on cars only either. In fact, the use of more autos makes the cost of the roads less, more efficient, more utilization on a relatively stable expense.

can someone on the side that cars are more subsidized than transit explain, or better still ,share numbers and sources that support those assertions?

Posted by: grumpy at January 7, 2013 6:53 PM

Yea, I'm waiting for someone also to really lay it out for us why the "evil car" is the most heavily subsidized mode of transit. Where are you MOD?

Grumpy laid it out pretty well that really disputes this wild claim made by MOD.

Can't wait to hear more of this socialist bs.

Posted by: futurist at January 7, 2013 7:08 PM

Yes, people buy & maintain their own cars, but they don't buy and maintain the roads those cars drive. That's how the private auto is subsidized.

The gas tax only covers about 50-80% (depending on who you ask) of the costs of building and maintaining the Interstate Highway System, which is only a part of the National Highway system, built and maintained by the federal government. in 2010 about $35 billion had to be transfered from the general fund. The ratio of user funding has been dropping for decades

There are also state and county highways and roads, which are even less funded by local gas taxes, Finally city streets, which get almost no funding from gas taxes. The remainder comes from other revenue, such as income, sales, and property taxes. Thus a highly subsidized system. Depending on how you calculate it, the subsidy is anywhere in the $30 billion to well over $100 billion per year. And that's not even talking about all the externalities around private auto use (pollution, health effects, deaths, law enforcement, wars, etc).

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 7, 2013 10:55 PM

the roads are a necessity, even the shire had one bro.

Posted by: grumpy at January 7, 2013 11:33 PM

^Yes, we'd be building 8 lane roads built to handle 60,000 cars a day even without cars LOL.

Posted by: Boris at January 7, 2013 11:35 PM

OK, how much and what kind of pot do I have to smoke for that argument about funding of public roads to make any sense whatsoever?

Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at January 8, 2013 8:38 AM

What sort of pot do you need to understand facts and evidence? Get that one.

Posted by: lyqwyd at January 8, 2013 9:06 AM

not sure what is so confusing about the road subsidy explanation.

The govt builds the transportation infrastructure (roads, bridges, highway signs, streetlights, etc). This is paid for through taxes, such as the Gas Tax.
The gas tax only covers a portion of the cost of building that infrastructure.
The rest of the money is diverted from general funds to the make of the difference.

There are additional 'soft costs' of highway patrols, traffic courts, increased healthcare spending due to diseases caused by air and water pollution from car exhaust and road runoff, and the massive cost of dealing with the effects of global climate change as a result of the burning of fossil fuels (which it is not unreasonable to argue, as the Pentagon does, will include military conflicts over access to shrinking areas of farmable land and clean water).

The last few decades have pretty clearly shown that 'building more roads' is not the solution to traffic and sprawl.

If providing alternative modes of transportation are socialists than I guess Google, Facebook, and all the other companies providing bus service all over the bay area for the employees sick of wasting time and money sitting in traffic and burning gas while going nowhere are socialists too.

Posted by: badlydrawnbear at January 8, 2013 9:35 AM

With respect to the proposed number of parking spots for this project and parking spaces in general: Are Parking Spots A Disincentive To Take Public Transportation?

Posted by: SocketSite at January 8, 2013 9:49 AM

back on topic, I do like the development.

It's a great use of unused space. While the facade might not be everyone's taste it is certainly better than the current 'Giant Value' that exists. Finally, adding density near major transportation hubs is much smarter than building new on the outskirts of a city.

Posted by: badlydrawnbear at January 8, 2013 9:50 AM

Hidden behind the Giant Value facade is a nice looking office building. I don't suppose they would be interested in spending the money on restoration instead of new construction?

Posted by: Adam at January 8, 2013 4:55 PM

"Nice looking" is not a terribly strong reason to restore vs. build new.

Besides, multi-level housing such as this demands a certain type of column spacing and structure, especially to meet seismic safety codes.

Posted by: futurist at January 8, 2013 5:29 PM

Boris, where in SF are they building 8 lane roads? Probably Banglador or some other developing metropolis, or LA, but not in SF. And are you saying there would be no roads if it were not for cars? How do you think organic produce gets to that little cozy store? What about fire engines, police, or even bikes, how would you get these necessities without roads.

BDB, funny how you tie unrelated issues to make your point and agree with my initial premise that roads are paid by all as they benefit all, to counter my point. I also said drivers help to maintain the cost of the upkeep. Roads are what laid the foundation for this nation to thrive. That's why we have the Interstates, for commerce, etc., how was this a failed attempt? Are you suggesting that the cost of roads that benefit all should only be paid for by car drivers? How can you say that widening the 405 in LA was a failure, probably should have been wider given the span of LA. Also, I would hardly call Facebook and Google picking up their private employees in a private bus and transporting them to a private loacation an argument for public transit. Newsflash, just because they are publically traded companies does not make them public transit providers. If they are using their own buses, they too are being subsidized according to your argument. It might be alternative, but it is not public transit and can't be used as such to make your weak argument. Just another straw your reaching for.

I was expecting a little more substative points, some that would counter the comments I made. Specifically to San Francisco, muni and parking meters. Just some that reiterate what I said, the cost of roads is beared by all, taxes. More hours of parking meters, more locations, more tickets, higher rates all to help SUBSIDIZE MUNI and some of you dont' even see that, and it's painfully obvious. Cars are not subsidized to that extent, we pay fees for using the sytem that we all pay for.

It's pretty lame to bring arguments to the table that don't address the premise of the assertion: private cars are more subsidized than public transit. Just unrelated statistics about how gas tax is appropriated, etc. Big picture, we all pay for the infrastructure and those who use the roads pay a fee to use them, it does not matter how they are mismanaged by government, we pay for a reason. Oh and nice comments about pot. Maybe you should try some, at the very least you will have to get your head out of your behind to inhale and in the process maybe you'll get some perspective.

Posted by: grumpy at January 8, 2013 5:54 PM

This will be a great addition to this stretch of Mission.

Especially if they bury the power lines just like the render.

I wonder where those beautiful giant "Giant Value" letters will end up?

Posted by: Schlub at January 8, 2013 6:44 PM

ha ha ha bury the power lines

Posted by: curmudgeon at January 9, 2013 9:26 AM

@grumpy - I'm saying that roads could be much narrower if not for cars. We have several 8 lane roads in SF - 19th Ave (6 travel lanes + 2 parking lanes), Van Ness (6 travel lanes - in some places 7!, plus 2 parking lanes), Lombard (6 travel lanes + 2 parking lanes), plus several more. And that's before we even start talking about freeways.

And I'm very anti-organic produce (it's a fraud, imo), so not sure why you brought that up.

Posted by: Boris at January 9, 2013 10:16 AM

citicritter wtf? This design is terrible. Those windows that are sloped toward the sky? They'll be covered in bird shit and truck exhaust most of the year.

Posted by: jwb at January 10, 2013 5:49 PM

Posted by: SocketSite at January 11, 2013 7:53 AM

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